Letter: Mascoma Board Wastes Another Year

To the Editor:

The responses published on Oct. 5 to Malcolm Love’s letter demonstrate that these gentlemen failed to fully read any of his “epistles.” Insulting independent thinkers (“minions”) and saying that they “don’t support education” and “will never support the renovation” are not half-truths, but total nonsense. Love’s unheeded urgings for immediate action to address the serious issues of safety, access and some upgrades at Mascoma Valley Regional High School should be reflected in the minutes of several School Board meetings, including his support for the $2.2 million pellet boilers.

Speaking of “half-truths,” the recent district newsletter touted renovation in order to “enhance access and safety,” “upgrade safety and accessibility” and “improve instructional spaces.” This plays on voters’ emotions to support the School Board’s agenda of betting our taxes on an unnecessary expansion in hope of attracting population growth. George Caccavaro Jr. is correct; it is all about “wallets” — but the school’s wallet, with little to no regard for the community.

Analysis of state and federal statistics finds no supporting data for building a white elephant. Dave Shinnlinger’s extrapolation about how many high school students there will be in the future based on the size of the current kindergarten class overlooks the attrition that has historically occurred as a class progresses.

The board’s inflexibility has wasted another year during which needed safety and access improvements and some upgrades could have been completed. Had the 2013 proposal addressed those serious issues without unnecessary expansion, we wouldn’t have to be concerned about interest rates and inflation.

Home value increases are an unknown, but additional taxes for an inflated school proposal are not, and the only way for many to absorb additional taxes is to mortgage their futures. Whether a home was inherited, built with sweat equity or purchased from a lifetime of work, this burden would be a blow to the golden years we all expected. It is unfortunate that Caccavaro inappropriately and incorrectly attempted to use a home’s assessed value as an indicator of personal finances.

Be brave in March 2014; put the expansions on separate warrant articles, and let the voters decide on what is necessary and affordable.

Christine MacDonald



Letter: New Mascoma Plan Unaffordable

Monday, September 23, 2013

To the Editor: Six months after the Mascoma Regional High School renovation plan was voted down (again), the verdict is to put a whopping $21,580,000 proposal on the 2014 ballot. The $23.8 million plan for 2013 was reduced by $2 million for pellet boilers, resulting in a pitiful net $200,000 reduction for 2014. This doesn’t include the continued spending of …

Letter: Right Time for Mascoma Renovation

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

To the Editor: I just read the latest epistle from Malcolm Love (“New Mascoma Plan Unaffordable,” Oct. 1), the Mascoma Regional School District’s resident supporter of substandard high school buildings. As usual, he pontificates about the supposed harm a renovated school would cause so many residents but completely ignores the benefits it would provide to students and staff. Love is …

Letter: Mascoma Can’t Delay Forever

Thursday, October 3, 2013

To the Editor: Malcolm Love is missing the point (“New Mascoma Plan Is Unaffordable,” Oct. 1). The Mascoma High School renovation project is not about enrollment, but rather the fact that the building is unsafe, 50-years-old without major updates, and that educational techniques and technology have changed significantly since it was built in 1962. Mascoma cannot put the renovation off …

Friday, October 18, 2013

To the Editor: I was reading Christine MacDonald’s letter defending Malcolm Love in the Oct. 13 Valley News when a quote from Shakespeare came to mind, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Her complete support of Malcolm Love’s tired old rhetoric would be more compelling if she was just one of his minions and not his wife. The ethical …